The Blog

10 Jan

Spiritual Guidance in Unexpected Places: Dante and the Helical Journey

In my work as a spiritual director, I am privileged to accompany people on their spiritual journeys. Along the way, I have learned that help and guidance can come from unexpected quarters. One such example is Dante Alighieri, the 14th century Italian poet.*

Dante’s most famous work is The Divine Comedy, in which he takes an extended tour of hell, purgatory, and heaven (Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise). Dante was probably the first person to write from this perspective and certainly influenced many who followed, including C.S. Lewis and his book, TheGreatDivorce.

Dante helped me frame some core principles that have been a tremendous help on my spiritual journey and may be helpful to you:

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03 Jan

Entering the Inner Sanctuary: An Invitation to  Contemplation

In Minnesota, where I was born and raised, we would joke that we experienced only two seasons: winter and road construction. January and February were the coldest months, with temperatures well below zero degrees keeping us indoors at all times, even during recess at school.

Despite my dislike of the intense cold, there was something about winter that I loved. My perfect picture of serenity was to sit by a crackling fireplace, wrapped up in a cozy blanket, sipping hot cocoa and reading or contemplating life, while soft flakes of white slowly and steadily blanketed the ground in snowy insulation. Those heavy snows would create a kind of quiet that was almost palpable. The silence was deafening—and wonderful.

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26 Dec

Don't Forget Prayer: A Story of Unexpected Transformation

“God, why are hearts hard here? Why are people generally not open to hearing the gospel?”

When my husband and I began our ministry in a Muslim-majority neighborhood in the US, we talked to other missionaries about the spiritual climate. They all agreed there was a consistent hardness; people were almost never open to hearing the good news of Jesus. When we heard this, we asked God why. Why were people who had been investing here for 5–7 years not seeing fruit?

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18 Dec

Dewi's Story: An Encounter With Peace

Dewi (pronounced De-vee, not her real name) was just a young teen when our CRM / Novo staff members in East Asia first met her. Dewi was a bit quirky, quiet but creative, an artist, and a real thinker. She was from a Hindu family, the majority religion in her area.

Teenager. Hindu. Quiet. This might seem like a surprising profile for someone who would become a key player in a gospel movement that would touch her family, her city, and her country. But that’s exactly what was about to unfold in God’s plan for this young woman.

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11 Dec

God's Plans Are Bigger: How a Rejected Church Pastor Brought Holistic Transformation to His Nation

Ivan came to our first training in Bamenda, Cameroon in 2013, and he really got it. He left with a passion to create real disciples who could hear God’s voice and study scripture deeply. Ivan’s decision to apply what he learned in his church-plant came at a high price: his conviction cost him his church and his job. However, this was the springboard God had to launch Ivan into a whole new level of impact in the country of Cameroon. This is his story.

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04 Dec

MAKE NEW: Gospel Movement Among the "Ones Jesus Loves" in Egypt

CRM / Novo is a band of creative missionaries; determined, innovative, and responsive to the Spirit. We are sent to multiply movements of the gospel and to mobilize the church for mission. In everything we do, our hearts look forward to the day when all will be made new. Novo, it means ‘to make new.’

One beautiful example shared in our CRM / Novo introduction video (see below) is from Egypt: In Egypt, the love of God reached families isolated by disability. This brought transformation to their communities, and is sparking wildfires of gospel movement in the Muslim world.

 
Learn more about this gospel movement:

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29 Nov

Celebrating Gospel Movement: Our 2018 Annual Ministry Report

 

“CRM / Novo is a band of creative missionaries sent to multiply movements of the gospel and mobilize the church for mission around the world.”

Every year we pause to take an account of what God has done through the efforts of our staff. Each of our missionaries takes time to record the stories and numbers of people impacted, share moments of breakthrough and answered prayer, and celebrate the goodness of our God and his Kingdom.

The Annual Ministry Report is a summary of all of these things. 

While it may just look like numbers on a page, what these stories and details represent is something powerful and growing.

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27 Nov

MAKE NEW: An Expanding Gospel Movement Among Prisoners

CRM / Novo is a band of creative missionaries; determined, innovative, and responsive to the Spirit. We are sent to multiply movements of the gospel and to mobilize the church for mission. In everything we do, our hearts look forward to the day when all will be made new. Novo, it means ‘to make new.’

One example of this vision in action shared in the CRM / Novo introductory video (see below) is taking place in prisons: In US state prisons, a friendship with one inmate led to Bible studies with many others. Now people are discovering Jesus in five prisons and the good news has reached beyond the walls to their families and friends.

Learn the up-to-date details of how far this movement has spread, and where it continues to expand...

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20 Nov

We Are Risk-Takers

In the process of coming up with our new name, Novo (read more about it here), we began by looking back at our history. In the process, we discovered a few distinctives that we feel help to define Novo staff. The first of those is that we are disciples; deeply committed to knowing and following Jesus. We also identify asfire-starters; multiplying our impact by equipping, empowering, and collaborating with others.

Another key distinctive iswe are risk-takers; rising to new challenges, willing to lay our lives on the line for the cause of Christ. Here is how Bobby Booze, one of the Directors of Ethne, sees Novo’s calling as risk-takers:

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19 Nov

We Are Fire-Starters

In the process of coming up with our new name, Novo (read more about it here), we began by looking back at our history. In the process, we discovered a few distinctives that we feel help to define Novo staff. The first of those is that we are disciples; deeply committed to knowing and following Jesus.

The second is that we are fire-starters; multiplying our impact by equipping, empowering, and collaborating with others.Here is how Doralicia Gonzales, Ethne staff in Málaga, Spain, sees Novo’s calling as fire-starters:

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CRM works to create movements of committed followers of Jesus in nations all around the world. This blog captures our stories, learnings, photos, videos, and more. Welcome!

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